Homeschooling in Alabama: What You Need to Know as a Parent

Alabama is one of the best states in the United States if you’re interested in homeschooling your children. The laws regarding homeschooling in Alabama are now some of the most lenient in the country and allow you to home school your child without much governmental intervention. You can do so through three different homeschooling programs in Alabama, the first using a state certified tutor and the second through a “church school”. Through the church school program (these are also known as cover schools), your home can qualify as a church school and all you have to do is work with existing church home school groups in Alabama. However, another MAJOR option has opened up as the state has introduced a new bill this year that recognizes home schooling.

New Bill Introduced

A new Bill introduced this year clarifies this law and holds that private schools can be started by any legal entity (i.e any parent). Before this law was passed you needed to be state certified and teach public school courses to be able to enroll your child in a home school. The other options were to create a church school or hire a private tutor that is certified by the state. The law also holds that these private schools are exempt from regulation by the government, including the state education department. The main requirement is that you must ensure your child meets mandatory attendance requirements that you must track. Thus you can easily educate your child at home.   This law was passed on April 2nd, 2014, and will be in effect on July 1st, 2014.

The most critical factor of the new law change is the official recognition of “home school” by the State of Alabama. Also, the law specifically states that the state has no interest in regulating “home schools”. These changes in the new homeschool law make it clear that homeschooling should be a much EASIER compliance process for all types of homeschoolers in Alabama.

If you are worried that home schooling your child in Alabama may lead to problems getting into college, you need not worry. The latest bill ensures that two or four year state colleges cannot deny a student purely on the basis of having attended a home school or any other nonpublic school. Additionally private and church school students will no longer have to take a GED test to apply for a college.

Homeschooling Programs in Alabama

As a parent, your top priority is ensuring your child gets the best upbringing and education possible. That’s why you are homeschooling them. It’s therefore important to choose the right homeschooling program. If you are going to join a church school, be sure to research what benefits these programs offer. Some of them offer curriculum material, guidance, monthly field trips, and all kinds of other benefits. These benefits can help your child massively, and be a great help in home schooling them properly. Some of these church schools don’t require you to be an active member of their church or to even give a devotional statement. Joining a church school and home schooling your child under their structure may be an excellent choice if you want to join a community of people home schooling their children. This is also an excellent choice as it can allow your child to make new friends very easily.

Online Homeschooling in Alabama

There are also various online support groups for home schoolers in Alabama. You can join anything from a free forum for other parents home schooling children, to enrolling in complete online home schooling programs which take care of all the material for you.   If you are a busy parent an online homeschooling program may be the best program for your family. Some programs are highly advanced and include interactive exercises and tests for the child to take part in. Online Homeschooling in Alabama is an option you should consider as an exciting and interesting teaching method. Online home school groups are definitely worth looking into!

Alabama Cover Schools

A cover school refers to a church program that allows you to home school legally. The term “cover school” is simply another word for a church school which we’ve already covered before. Due to the new bill it appears there is no longer a need to join a church or Alabama cover schools after July 1st, 2014. Since the Alabama Department of Education has chosen not to regulate “home schools”, there should now be a movement towards just filing a intent to homeschool and file any annual compulsory attendance certification. We will work diligently to make sure you are up to date on the latest information and process. At the Alabama Homeschool Expo, we will discuss the new law changes and what the steps are now to homeschool in Alabama.

Don’t be Afraid to Take the Leap into Home Schooling in Alabama

If you 100 percent feel that home schooling is the right choice for your child or children, then jump right into it! Don’t let other people hold you back (and yes there will be naysayers). There’s no denying that the public school system has a huge number of flaws, and a home schooling arrangement is far better for many children.   If you feel your child could benefit from home schooling in Alabama it would be unfair to force your child into a system he doesn’t belong in.

Sources-

http://www.hslda.org/laws/analysis/Alabama.pdf

http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/al/201404080.asp

http://northalabamahomeeducators.freeservers.com/schools.html

Do You Have a Vision?

Do you have a “Vision” for your home school? It is important. Vision draws us forward when life bogs us down. Every home school parent knows there are tough days that sometimes drag into tough weeks. Vision is the Light that will beckon in the wearying seasons. In fact, a right Vision becomes a Legacy Light! Do you remember singing this song with your children?

“Be careful little eyes what you see,
For the Father up above is looking down in love,
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.”

The beauty of teaching young ones is that those lessons are the ones we often forget to practice ourselves. Teaching is a great reminder to implement! It is a pathetically simple truth that we see what we look at. When we allow our eyes to be drawn to difficulties or shortcomings (in ourselves or others), our eyes become filled with the negativity. As Christians, it is imperative that we make a deliberate choice to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Only with our eyes firmly focused on Him, will we live in the victory faith brings. The best foundation for the endeavor of home education is faith in the power and provision of God.

This life, this endeavor of intensive parenting we call home schooling, is a God-given assignment that demands a God-given vision. Vision is sometimes defined as “a clear, concise and compelling picture of what the future can be.” What is the vision you have for your children, for yourself, for your family? Is it a God-given vision that trumpets out truth like Jeremiah 29:11?

‘I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and give you hope.’

Or it is a vision infiltrated with personal striving and fear of failure?

We struggle to remember that faith is the substance of what we do NOT see. Sometimes as home educators, our eyes see only incomplete curriculum, hectic schedules and friction in our relationships. The illusion of the ‘perfect’ home school family taunts us with our imperfections. Those are the times we need to sing the childhood rhyme again and look to our Vision.

The intensity of home school life gives us a great opportunity to model ‘eye placement. ‘As parents, when we diligently look toward God (instead of relying on our strengths or fearing our weaknesses), we teach a vital lesson to your children. We teach–by example–the key to living victoriously is living in the Light of Christ. Truly, there is no greater joy than having our children walk in Truth. Keep your eyes on Truth!